Written by Lethbridge College Kodiaks Sports Information, with resources from the Red Deer College Queens.
Sept. 9, 2017 – Coming off of a disappointing last place season a year ago, the newly constructed Kodiaks women's soccer team knew they would immediately be in for a measuring-stick challenge with their seasoning opening match against Red Deer College on Saturday.
Despite experiencing some early home opener jitters, the Kodiaks put forth an effort to be extremely proud of, which allowed them to steal a point in a 0-0 draw with a perennially strong Queens side.
Red Deer came out hard and hit the Kodiaks with immense pressure, hemming the Kodiaks in their defensive end for roughly the first 15 minutes of play. The Queens struck for four shots on goal in the first half and followed that up with another three in the second, but Kodiaks second year goalkeeper Brittany Klein was a sturdy presence in the Kodiaks net, stopping every shot that came her way with poise.
The Kodiaks were led by their veterans, including player of the game Maddison Folk and forwards Vicki Noronha and Kaylin Snodgrass. The best chance for the Kodiaks came off the foot of Snodgrass, who received a breakaway pass from Noronha late in the first half. While charging towards the net, Snodgrass poked the ball a little too far forward and Queens goalkeeper Erin Gill was there to cut off the chance.
Fourth year Kodiaks defender Kayla Keech had the only Kodiaks shot on net and was calm and collected while playing in the defensive end, in one of her best games in a Kodiaks uniform.
In his first game back behind the bench, Kodiaks head coach Sean Carey was thrilled with the effort his team put forth.
"With Red Deer, we would have taken a tie before the game started" explained Carey. "As [assistant coach] Mark [Pries] said to them after the game, that was the best Kodiaks women's game he's seen since he's been with the program. Those girls just gave everything, and for them to get something out of that game was a huge reward for them.
"They've done four weeks of hard work and then they get rewarded like that today, it's a tribute to all the girls. They know they achieved today, and have set a precedent. Now they need to grow from that."
With many Kodiaks playing in their first game with the program, Carey praised his leadership core for setting the right tone and leading by example on the field.
"Kaylin, Maddy, they stepped up. They're nice leaders in and out of the dressing room. All the girls, they're talking. Vicki [Noronha] talked to the girls after the game, she's another girl that's been around a while. They lead by example."
Even after a shaky start, Carey had a calm fe"Our defence was great. I could tell Payden [Olsen] and Maddy were in sync with each other, and a lot of the shots coming through were peripheral shots that we expect Brittany to stop anyways. Our overall work was unreal today."
Tomorrow brings another test as Lakeland College pays a visit to the Servus Centre outdoor field, but Carey is confident that his girls will build off today's effort and have another good showing.
"Another pair of tough games tomorrow for both the girls and boys" said Carey. "With the girls, I have a sneaky suspicion if we play as well as we did today that we'll get something out of the game tomorrow."
Next up: Lethbridge welcomes Lakeland College (0-1) tomorrow afternoon in a match at the Servus Soccer Centre outdoor field, with kickoff starting at noon. Red Deer will travel to Medicine Hat to take on the Rattlers (1-0).
Players of the game
LC – Maddison Folk
RDC – Teryn Wright